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The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches comprise a family of line-rate, low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) switches for data center applications.
Today's data centers are increasingly filled with dense rack-mount and blade servers that host powerful multicore processors. The rapid increase of in-rack computing density, along with the increasing use of virtualization software, combine to push the demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and consolidated I/O: applications for which the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series is an excellent match. With low latency, front-to-back cooling, and rear-facing ports, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series is designed for data centers transitioning to 10 Gigabit Ethernet as well as those ready to deploy a unified fabric that can handle their LAN, SAN, and server clusters, providing networking over a single link (or dual links for redundancy).
The switch family, using cut-through architecture, supports line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet on all ports while maintaining consistently low latency independent of packet size and services enabled. It supports a set of network technologies known collectively as IEEE Data Center Bridging (DCB) that increases the reliability, efficiency, and scalability of Ethernet networks. These features allow the switches to support multiple traffic classes over a lossless Ethernet fabric, thus enabling consolidation of LAN, SAN, and cluster environments. Its ability to connect FCoE to native Fiber Channel protects existing storage system investments while dramatically simplifying in-rack cabling.
In addition to supporting standard 10 Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) on servers, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series integrates with multifunction adapters called converged network adapters (CNAs) that combine the functions of Ethernet NICs and Fiber Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), making the transition to a single, unified network fabric transparent and consistent with existing practices, management software, and OS drivers. The switch family is compatible with integrated transceivers and Twinax cabling solutions that deliver cost-effective connectivity for 10 Gigabit Ethernet to servers at the rack level, eliminating the need for expensive optical transceivers.
The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series is designed for data center environments with cut-through technology that enables consistent low-latency Ethernet solutions, with front-to-back cooling, and with network ports in the rear, bringing switching into close proximity with servers and making cable runs short and simple.